Haggling is a part of life in many developing countries. In fact, it’s considered insulting if you don’t try to negotiate. In the United States, we tend to accept the sticker price and move on.
Just because you live in America doesn’t mean you have to pay full price for your purchases. Sure, you might haggle on big-ticket items like a house or car, but you may not know that you can extend your negotiation skills to electronics, appliances, clothing, food and more. Read on to find out which stores will allow you an extra discount and how to work your magic so you can charm your way into extra savings.
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Best Buy already has low prices, so it might seem crazy that they’ll negotiate even further, but it’s true. You can score some discounts and even some free items, but you must follow some rules to make it happen. First, shop during the last couple days of the month. Floor managers have monthly sales goals they have to meet, so if you go right before the month ends, you’ll have the ability to negotiate. Next, ask for discounts on high-end items, like electronics; there’s a lot of wiggle room there due to the markup. You can also ask for freebies. Getting a laptop? Ask for a free bag. Buying multiple items? You can bundle and save just by asking the manager for a discount. Don’t overlook open box items. See an item on display? Ask for a 20% discount. Also, Best Buy offers price matching. See an item cheaper elsewhere? Pull it up on your phone and watch the price go down.
Costco already has great prices on a lot of items, but there is still room for discounts. Floor models are a great way to save 10-20%. Look for meat and produce that’s expiring that day. Talk to a manager at the end of the day and try to strike up a deal. Negotiate on tires as well. Warehouse store tires are marked up and often much higher than other tire stores. Use your smartphone to show the tire department the price you should be getting.
Costco isn’t the only warehouse store where you can save by speaking up and simply asking. You can score the same deals listed above, but you should also use the store layout to your advantage. The best deals in the store are in aisles 5, 6 and 7. Stroll over there, load up on a bunch of these items and ask a manager for a discount.
This home improvement store allows negotiation on many items, especially if they are imperfect. See something with a chip, huge scratch or dent? Ask for a discount. You could easily score 10-15% on a dented appliance or planter. Need a new appliance? Consider a floor model. After being poked and prodded by customers, they’re likely a bit dirty and scratched up, but nothing you can’t fix up. Ask for a discount and you might be able to get 15% off. Building a shed and need some lumber? Look for imperfect or low-quality pieces. These pieces won’t affect the outcome of your project, but if Home Depot can’t sell it, it’ll end up being junked anyway, so what have you got to lose?
Lowe’s works similarly to Home Depot. Besides using the art of negotiation on certain items, you can also look for price matching opportunities and ask to bundle similar items. You can also look for items that are stocked incorrectly. Lowe’s has been known to give customers the benefit of the doubt and give them the lower price on items placed in the wrong bin.
If you come across a damaged item, haggle for a discount. Target typically offers 13% off. You can get discounts on food as well. If the package is damaged or if the food is near its expiration date, let the manager know and start negotiating. Look for discounts of 50% off or more.
For great deals, hang out in the clearance section. These items are often discontinued, so the store is looking to get rid of them quickly. This is your opportunity to negotiate. If you see damaged items, you can haggle a great price on these as well. Expect to get 10% off or more.
You can negotiate the price on your next appliance purchase at Sears. Just ask the sales associate if he or she can negotiate on the price. They might drop the price or offer a coupon. If you’re looking for an item that’s out of stock, ask for a price break on a similar item. You might even get some free accessories. Some customers have emailed Sears and asked for the specifications of a particular appliance they sell. Not only do they respond, but they include a $100 off coupon as well. Sweet!
If you’re looking for a new guitar or accessories, it pays to talk to the right person. Ask for the sales manager and be polite. You might just get rewarded with a nice discount. Don’t expect much if you come in with a bad attitude.
Thrift stores like Goodwill
Even though the prices are already super-low, that doesn’t mean you can’t save even more. Look to see which items are on sale that week. Sale items will be thrown out to make room for new merchandise, so use this opportunity to negotiate a better price. Look for imperfections. A dent, rip or scratch can mean a discount. If you buy in bulk, ask for a discount.
You’ve probably watched Pawn Stars and are familiar with the negotiation tactics shown on the show. Pawn stores actually encourage haggling, and here’s how to do it right. First, know the pawn store discount codes so you know how much an item can be discounted. Next, learn as much as you can about your item. Make the first offer so you can control the bidding, but don’t go too long. Remember, pawn stores are looking to make a profit.
Furniture stores like Ashley Furniture
Whether you shop at huge furniture chains or a small local store, the markups are insane. Many of the items are made overseas, shipped in and marked up by as much as 80%. That leaves a lot of room for discounts. Start your shopping at the back of the store, which is where the clearance items usually are. Next, start looking for flaws. A scratch here and a couple chips there can mean a 20% discount. Buy multiple items and offer cash for even more discounts.
Macy’s, Nordstrom, and other department stores are open to discounts. In fact, they’re allowed to go as low as 10% below a competitor. The key is to ask for the manager. He or she can hook you up with some discounts. Use price matching in your favor. Find the same item at a lower price and ask the store to beat it. You can also use scratches, dents and imperfect clothing in your favor. Ask for extras. Buying a dress shirt? Ask for a free tie. It doesn’t hurt to ask. The worst that will happen is that you will be told no.
Looking to save money? Use these tips when shopping at the stores listed above. You won’t have to pay full price for the stuff you need, and you’ll feel great knowing that you scored an awesome deal on an outfit, washer, computer, or food item.